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What You Gonna Say to Peter

(Bob Nolan)

 

Now, brother, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

Whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

 

Bob:

Gonna get me another brand new coat for to climb the golden stairs,

(Gonna get another coat for to climb the golden stairs.)

And another pair o’ brand new tight knee pants for to make me look so fair.

(And another pair of pants for to make me look so fair.)

 

Now, brother, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

Pat, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, Patrick, whatcha gonna do, huh?

 

“Well, Bob, I’m gonna ride right up to them pearly gates and I’m gonna say,

“Step aside, Mr. St. Peter, ‘cause—

Here I come, (Here he comes.)

Just takin’ my time. (Takin' his time.)"

He's a lazy ramblin’, rovin’, gamblin’, no good son-of-a-gun!

 

Bob: 

Oh,  the time has come and I must go for to join the heavenly band.

(Oh, the time has come for to join the heavenly band.)

So I packed my duds in a good-by bag, gonna head for the Promised Land.

(Gonna pack my duds and head for the Promised Land.)

 

Now, brother, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

Hugh, whatcha gonna say to Peter when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, Hughie, whatcha gonna do?

 

“Well, Bob, when I get there, if’n I do get there, I’ll just step right up and I’ll say,

‘Mr. St. Peter, bein’ the cornfed country boy that I am,

I’ll just work that low forty for you ‘cause

 I love the prairie country, give me the prairie country,

I’ll take the prairie country, you can have a rest.”

 

Bob: 

Oh, I’ll look my best in my velvet vest when I’m ridin’ my old gray mare.

(Oh, I'll look my best when I'm ridin' my old gray mare.)

If the stairs don’t drop when I reach the top, gonna bow to the angels there.

(If the stairs don't drop, I'll bow to the angels there.)

 

Now, brother, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

Karl, whatcha gonna say to Peter when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, Karl, whatcha gonna do?

 

“Well, Bob, I’m a man of few words

And I think St. Peter’ll understand when I…(and plays his guitar.)

 

Bob: 

There’s Peter now with a worried brow, just checkin’ his list away.

(There's Peter now just checkin' his list away.)

We’ll go right through.  Peter, how de do and how are you today?

(We'll go right through, Peter, how are you today?)

 

Now, brother, whatcha gonna say to Peter, when you get there?

Whatcha gonna tell him, brother, whatcha gonna do?

Bob, whatcha gonna say to Peter when you get there,

Whatcha gonna tell him, Bob, whatcha gonna do?

 

Bob: 

Well, I’ll tell you, Pat, I’m gonna flank myself with Lloyd and Tim on either side of me

And, three abreast, we’re just gonna march right in ‘cause we're

Rollin’ home, rollin’ home.

With a how de do and a halleluja we’re headin’ for the home corral!

Rollin’ home, rollin’ home.

With a how de do and a halleluja we’re headin’ for the home corral!

 

        In performance, the Sons of the Pioneers sometimes used "What You Gonna Say to Peter" to introduce each of the current Sons of the Pioneers. Bob, as nominal head of the group, would take the lead vocal and the other members would incorporate the titles of some of their popular songs eg, "A No Good Son of a Gun" (Nolan), "I Love the Prairie Country" (Glenn Spencer) and "Headin’ for the Home Corral" (Glenn & Tim Spencer).  We have found no sheet music and it has not been recorded after 1940.

 

Recordings:

1937 12 16 Vo-OK 05347

1940 Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage"

c 1947 Teleways radio transcription

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

 

        On the typed lyric sheet, the chorus and first three verses were typewritten and Bob had penciled in the last two verses. He printed “The Bridegroom’s Serenade” in pencil over the title. He used the 3rd and 4th lines of the 4th verse in another of his songs, You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Till You Hear Him Roar. Key of C is designated.

 

 

What You Gonna Say to Peter?

aka "The Bridegroom's Serenade"

(Bob Nolan)

 

Refrain:
Now, brother—
What you gonna say to Peter, when you get there?
What you gonna tell him, brother, what you gonna do?
What you gonna say to Peter, when you get there?
What you gonna tell him, brother, what you gonna do?

Gonna get me another brand new coat
For to climb the golden stairs,
And another pair o’ brand new tight-knee pants
For to make me look so fair.

Oh, the time has come and I must go
For to join the heavenly band.
So I’ll packed my duds in a good-bye bag
And head for the Promised Land.

Oh, I look my best in my velvet vest
When I’m ridin’ my old gray mare.
If the stairs don’t drop when I reach the top
I’m gonna bow to the angels there.

There Gabriel stands with his horn in his hand
Gonna blow a note so fair.
He can blow so loud that a thunder cloud
Will burst in the trembling air.

There’s Peter now with a worried brow
Just checkin’ his list away.
Here I go right thru Peter how de do and
How are you today?

 

 

Rough lyric sheet on the back of a sheet of music "Finger Prints upon the Windowpane" by Bob Miller.

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage (064442)

Teleways Transcriptions: #43-107-177-199

Lucky U programs courtesy of Larry Hopper:

20 November 1951. Transcription Disc TR-105, 106
6 February 1952. Transcription Disc TR-228, 229
15 October 1952. Transcription Disc TR-519, 520